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The iPad Mini and iOS Fragmentation

The iPad Mini is scheduled to be produced in Foxconn’s Brazilian factory and will be ready for a holiday release, says a reliable source from China. Japanese website MacOtakara has reported—based on the Chinese source—that the testing phase of the CNC machine has been completed, and the iPad Mini will enter into production in Brazil as soon as September.

Guessing about the iPad mini’s screen size seems to have reached a consensus at 7.85 inches, and according to AppleInsider the new device will be about as high as the Nexus 7 (198.5 mm), but slimmer than Amazon’s Kindle Fire.

iPad Mini

iPad mini comparison
While Steve Jobs excluded the thought of an iPad Mini, it looks like Apple is ready to make the move to maintain its market share, making the most sought-after tablet experience affordable to the lower-end market.

There were also some technical feasibility questions in the air when the iPad mini rumor mill started turning, but from a developer’s point of view the device’s screen isn’t going to be a roadblock and won’t fragment the iOS market as badly as voices had whispered earlier. iOS developer Joel Bernstein explains that “if the iPad’s screen were scaled to 163 DPI, it would be 7.85 inches diagonally,” which is why the aforementioned screen size rumors are gaining traction around the blogosphere.

Apple is in the rare position of being able to modify the DPI of the device without harming the iPad mini usability, and being able to comply with the iOS Human Interface Guidelines, saying the average size of a fingertip cannot vary, while the screen size of an iOS device can. With the 7.85-inch iPad mini, the tappable icons will be as large as on an iPhone, which, according to Bernstein, is 0.27 inches. I don’t know about you, but I would say the number of people having issues tapping an iPhone icon is very small.

The iPad Mini price tag is also the subject of some rumors: as we recently reported, it is said that it will retail between $249 and $299, and Channing Smith of Capital Advisors has recently confirmed that it will be above $199, which makes the above prices highly likely. So let's wait for any official update on iPad Mini.

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